Acid Fast Stain Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Acid Fast Stain?
Acid Fast Stain is a specialized staining technique used to identify certain types of bacteria. It is often used in microbiology to help distinguish between two different types of microorganisms: acid-fast and non-acid fast. The process involves applying a special dye that binds to the cell wall components of acid-fast bacteria, making them visible under the microscope. This technique is especially useful for identifying Mycobacterium species, which are resistant to other staining methods.The Acid Fast Stain uses a combination of dyes and heat to identify microorganisms that possess an outer cell wall composed of mycolic acidslong, waxy molecules with an acidic nature. The dye binds selectively to these mycolic acids, making them appear red or pink when observed under the microscope after the procedure has been completed. Non-acid fast bacteria do not contain mycolic acids and therefore remain colorless when viewed under the microscope following Acid Fast Staining. Acid Fast Staining is commonly used in clinical laboratories for diagnosing tuberculosis and other infections caused by Mycobacterium species due its effectiveness in identifying this group of pathogens from other types of bacteria present in a sample specimen. The procedure involves preparing smears on slides from specimens obtained from sputum, feces, or tissue samples; then adding ZiehlNeelsen stain (a red dye) followed by heating at 80Â°C for 15 minutes; washing with water; then adding carbol fuchsin (a pink dye); destaining with alcohol; counterstaining with methylene blue or malachite green; and finally examining the sample under a light microscope using oil immersion lenses at 1000x magnification or higher power if necessary. Overall, Acid Fast Stains are an important tool in medical diagnosis as they allow quick identification of organisms responsible for specific diseases such as tuberculosis so that proper treatment can be administered without delay.